Texas Travel Diary - p 2

Reddish Egret

21 April 2009
The brackish waters of Packery Channel, just east of Corpus Christi, are a magnet for wading birds and shore birds, not to mention human  fishers in campers and big trucks.  All seek the fish and other marine life there.  In late afternoon we find the white morph of the Reddish Egret.  The white version is either common here or we're seeing the same bird over and over, because this is our second sighting.
    Unlike most herons and egrets, who wait quietly in ambush, Reddish Egret darts about helter-skelter, as if it has no idea what it's doing.  This, however, apparently scares up small fish on which it feeds.


Tricolored HeronBy now the sun is setting.  Even as the egret flies away, we find another fisher, this one a Tricolored Heron, who snares a nice fish for supper.

Brown PelicanThe human fishers usually have a Brown Pelican or two as a companion.  Even in his breeding plumage, he's still a rather coarse looking bird, one of those who looks better in flight or at a distance than close up.

Black-bellied Plover

Another long-distance migrant, Black-bellied Plover, nails a worm of sorts near the shore.  He (she?) will need all the nourishment he can find.  His travel plans includes a flight across the entire North American continent, to the Arctic coast of Alaska and Canada where these plovers breed.


Long-billed Dowitcher23 April 2009
Dawn finds us back at Packery, on this day still seeing new birds mucking about under an overcast sky.  Using the car as a blind, we photograph more egrets and herons and American Oystercatcher and this Marbled Godwit.  In earlier times this bird was far more abundant than today.  Dr. Thomas S. Roberts wrote in 1919:  "When the writer [went to western Minnesota] in June 1879 to study the wildlife of that region, the great marbled godwit was so abundant, so constant and insistent in its attentions to the traveler on the prairie, and so noisy that it became at times an actual nuisance." (A. C. Bent, Life Histories of North American Shore Birds).




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